Apparatus for causing a solar energy collector to constantly follow the sun by using solar radiant energy to differentially heat fluid-containing reservoirs to cause differential vaporization and shifting of fluid to rotate the apparatus. Automatic morning orientation is included by providing the easterly reservoir with a faster rate of cooling than the westerly one thereby causing shift of fluid from westerly to easterly after sunset resulting in inclination toward the east by sunrise.
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1. In a solar tracking device comprising a pair of closed containers interconnected in fluid communication and mounted on opposite sides of a pivot axis and containing liquid having a low boiling point, said containers having sun shielding means positioned relative thereto to provide unequal solar radiation on the containers whenever the device is not aimed at the sun thereby causing greater vaporization of said liquid in one container which in turn causes transfer of liquid from that container to the other and rotation of the containers about the pivot until equal radiation is received by both containers, and means for maintaining center of gravity below the pivot axis to control motion around said pivot axis, the improvement which comprises:
- differential cooling means for providing greater rate of heat dissipation from one container than that of the other, whereby the container with high heat dissipation can be placed in the easterly position and therefore will cool faster after sunset thereby causing transfer of liquid from the westerly container and automatic reorientation of the containers in preparation for sunrise.
2. The improvement defined in claim 1 wherein a portion of the container designed to be placed in the westerly position is provided with a coating which has a lower thermal emissivity than the surface of the container designed to be placed in the easterly position.
3. The improvement defined in claim 2 wherein the coating having lower thermal emissivity contains aluminum.
4. The improvement defined in claim 1 wherein the emissivity governing means includes thermal insulation over portions of the container designed to be placed in the westerly position.